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In advance of Mobile World Congress, Nokia today launched off-the-shelf Internet of Things (IoT) packages to help operators win new business in vertical IoT markets.
In addition to enabling operators to achieve a fast time to market, the packages simplify the set-up and operations of enterprise IoT services.
Built on the Nokia Worldwide IoT Network Grid (WING) infrastructure that provides the necessary global IoT connectivity and services support, the applications include IoT sensors, user applications and business models suited to specific sectors. Nokia WING's managed service approach also offers a pay-as-you-grow business model, giving operators the flexibility to quickly scale up IoT services as required.
The new market-ready solutions for WING eliminate the challenges facing operators developing their own IoT services.
These include the need for specialized expertise, the complexities of combining fragmented IoT connectivity infrastructure and the risk and effort of setting up and working with multiple service providers globally. Nokia works with best-in-class partners on Nokia WING vertical applications portfolio and continues to develop the IoT ecosystem.
The four new solutions announced today by Nokia include:
- Smart Agriculture as-a-Service: Sensors capture environmental, soil and crop data that is then analyzed to provide insights that help farmers manage crops more effectively, potentially saving costs on irrigation, pesticides and fertilizers.
- Livestock Management as-a-Service: Tracking devices and biosensors monitor animal health and welfare to provide ranchers with early alerts if abnormalities are detected, protecting valuable livestock and improving yields.
- Logistics as-a-Service: IoT sensors enable tracking of the global movement and condition of goods through the complete supply chain to help enterprises instantly identify incidents and even predict future events to optimize delivery and logistics process efficiency.
- Asset Management as-a-Service: Connecting products anywhere in the world enables their status and performance to be monitored centrally, helping enterprises provide a better service to their business and consumer customers.
Nokia is trialing Agriculture as-a-Service with an African operator and working with a leading services and consulting firm on Asset Management as-a-Service to help them offer more advanced services.
Brian Partridge, Vice President, 451 Research, said: "Nokia addresses a wide spectrum of challenges through its WING IoT infrastructure-as-a-service so its early traction with customers isn't a surprise. Most telecom operators desire a more prominent role in the IoT value chain that builds upon secure and reliable domestic or global connectivity. Nokia's announced plans to offer end-to-end vertical applications on top of the WING global infrastructure is a logical next step. We believe that this approach benefits Nokia's WING telecom customers and the enterprises they serve in addition to vertical application partners who can benefit from WING's market scale and go-to market channels."
Ankur Bhan, Global Head of WING Business at Nokia, said: "The IoT is a growing opportunity for operators to win new enterprise customers and significant additional revenue in a diverse range of vertical markets. With minimal upfront investment, an operator can now quickly get a service to market and generate IoT revenues. We expect these vertical solutions to encourage more operators to connect to Nokia WING, expanding its global footprint and broadening the range of capabilities and services that will become available. We already have several more vertically-focused as-a-Service packages in the development pipeline."
ZTE Corporation, a major international provider of telecommunications, enterprise and consumer technology solutions for the Mobile Internet, announced at Mobile World Congress, Barcelona, it launched its next-generation end-to-end (E2E) Public Cloud rich communication services (RCS) solution that helps customers reform service deployment, service interconnection and business models.
The solution fully satisfies global operators' requirements for rapid access, capacity expansion and functionality of the RCS service. To be specific, the solution can help small and medium-sized operators and mobile virtual network operators (MVNOs) rapidly deploy cloud-based RCS at low cost, and help large operators put cloud RCS into trial commercial use to initiate users.
Based on the interoperability of cloud platforms, ZTE's Public Cloud RCS platform supports interconnection between different operators including international branches, and can interconnect with their private RCS platforms through its RCS hub. It also achieves interconnection between operators and equipment vendors.
With the ZTE Public Cloud RCS solution, operators can develop RCS in flexible business models including service lease, service purchase and revenue share while greatly reducing investment costs and risks.
At the event, ZTE showcased all service functionalities of the Public Cloud RCS solution. The solution enhances traditional SMS and MMS functions to support instant messaging, group chat, messaging video and file, and location sharing. It also enhances the traditional call service to support voice over Internet protocol (VoIP), voice over WiFi (VoWiFi), multi-party audio/video call and Enrich Call.
ZTE also demonstrated its industry-first RCS set-top-box (STB) that uses RCS as the Smart Home entrance, and provides a multi-party video call function to converge with the Big Video service, thus promoting traffic consumption and monetizing traffic. As Mr. Zhu Jinyun, SVP of ZTE, mentioned, RCS will be more than an entrance of Smart Home and will bring greater value to individuals, homes, governments and enterprises in the future.
In addition, the ZTE Public Cloud RCS solution opens standard application program interface (APIs) or software development kits (SDKs) to upstream and downstream players to establish a sustainable ecosystem. At the event, ZTE announced its cooperation with Voipswitch, a world-leading VoIP solution provider. Both parties will combine technical and marketing strengths, to introduce more Internet functionalities and UI customization capabilities to RCS to offer users richer and better experiences, looking to building up a strong ecosystem.
The GSMA's latest data shows that the RCS service has been put into commercial use with 50 operators in 36 countries, representing up to 156 RCS native terminals. Top telecom operators such as AT&T, T-Mobile, Sprint, and internet giants such as Google have been actively promoting RCS development. As Mr. Zhu said, RCS can help operators upgrade basic telecom services, unify number entrances, and open telecom capabilities, which becomes an inevitable choice for operators. As a major player in RCS, ZTE will continue to work with partners to boost RCS development.
Digital analysts have expressed their surprise at the explosion in popularity of video and messaging app Snapchat in the Middle East region. A global study by a leading research consultancy firm established that the proportion of internet users in the UAE who use Snapchat increased from 15% in 2014 to 53% this year.
These statistics significantly outpace the global trend of growth for Snapchat which has risen from 12% to 23% during the same timeframe. Analysts claim that Snapchat, an app which enables users to capture and share video and photo content which is only available to view for 24 hours before it is deleted, ties into the growing youth population in the Middle East which is searching for new ways to express themselves and be creative.
Some felt that restrictions imposed on Snapchat by the UAE government would have a detrimental effect on its popularity, but that hasn’t transpired which has caught many digital experts by surprise.
Bhomik Chanda, Head of Media and Digital Solutions for the Mena region attributed the success of Snapchat to the fact that it was specifically designed for smartphone devices, unlike some other popular social media outlets. In addition to this, he claimed that the younger population in the Middle East is looking for spontaneity which the popular platform provides in abundance.
He said: “Snapchat has an appeal among the 13-34-year-old age groups, and that’s why it is picking up really fast in the region. Especially in Saudi Arabia, given the fewer forms of entertainment there, Snapchat, unlike some other social media platforms before it, was made for your smartphone. And it’s about being instant. So for instance, you’re walking on the beach and you spot something fun, click it and at that very moment you can broadcast it instantly to your snapchat followers. That is the type of spontaneous and instantaneous platform young people want and Snapchat provides it for them.”
Snapchat was developed by Stanford University students Evan Spiegel and Bobby Murphy in 2011, and they incredibly turned down an offer of $3billion from Facebook to buy them out. Facebook have taken inspiration from Snapchat and have tried to challenge them by developing a special effects camera option on Facebook Messenger which it launched recently. Other attempts to replicate Snapchat’s success from other outlets have ultimately failed as it goes from strength-to-strength, particularly in this region.
Perhaps the biggest factor in its success was Snapchat’s decision to focus on events in the region with its ‘Live Story’ feature last year. Thousands of smartphone users joined the #mecca live story, posting their experiences from Mecca during Ramadan. Businesses are now looking at ways to utilize Snapchat for their benefit commercially, with marketing guru’s declaring that using Snapchat is a smart way to attract attention to as brand and product. It looks inevitable that the Snapchat success will continue to expand in the Middle East.
Nokia is extending its device management leadership into IoT with the launch of the Intelligent Management Platform for All Connected Things (IMPACT), which gives operators, enterprises and governments a secure platform on which to scale new IoT services. IMPACT handles data collection, event processing, device management, data contextualization, data analytics, end-to-end security and applications enablement for any device, any protocol and across any application.
The new platform, which reflects Nokia's increasing focus on the fast-growing IoT market, includes Nokia's Motive Connected Device Platform, the industry's leading converged device management platform. It provides lifecycle management for more than 80,000 models of broadband, home and IoT devices. The latest edition integrates all Nokia mobile and IoT device management software.
Bhaskar Gorti, president of the Applications & Analytics Business Group at Nokia, said: "Our new IMPACT platform with Motive CDP is particularly strong in device management, security and analytics. These matter because as we work to collect and derive meaning from IoT data, it becomes more valuable to everyone involved - and more crucial to protect."
Nokia IMPACT comes with comprehensive capabilities for all things connected:
Scalability: Being cloud-based, customers can add on-demand server capacity to support massive numbers of connected devices. Scaling capacity is also enhanced by the platform's internal architecture, built from the ground up for extreme scale, security and reliability.
Total security: IoT security is under-addressed by the market. As IoT data increases, the more security matters. IMPACT has factored in the increasing security requirements including network, cloud and end-point security. It also implements the latest Lightweight M2M (LWM2M) security model for IoT device management and is backed by Nokia's extensive security portfolio. This is important as you can't trust data from an unmanaged source.
More devices: Along with supporting 80,000 device models from 100 of the world's top manufacturers, Motive CDP can detect new device formats that come on the market. It is flexible enough to support multiple deployment and business models including private, public cloud, private cloud, SaaS and transactional. This provides a lower entry cost and ability to scale both up and down. Furthermore, MotiveSmart(TM) certifies how the device and service are used together on an operator's mobile network.
Better devices and network management: Nokia's services expertise encompasses both devices and networks, allowing issues to be pinpointed back to either the device or the network for comprehensive root cause analysis.